Soufflés aux framboises

Raspberry soufflés

The recipe for this elegant dessert is surprisingly simple. Fresh raspberries are puréed and strained, sugar and an egg yolk are stirred in, egg whites are beaten and folded in, and the mixture is baked in little soufflé cups for just 4-5 minutes. Et voilà!

And the good news is that the recipe may be largely prepared ahead of time, up to the point where you beat the egg whites. This means that you can have everything ready to go, serenely serve the main meal and disappear only briefly to finish the soufflés.

For best results, use the freshest raspberries available. The quantities below will make 4-6 individual soufflés, depending on the size of your soufflé cups. For example, the cup in the photo holds 7/8 cup (200 ml), enough for 5 soufflés.

4-1/2 ounces (125 g) rasperries
4-5 tbsp. (50-60 g) sugar
1 tbsp. (15 g) butter
3 large eggs at room temperature

If serving immediately, preheat the oven to gas mark 7 (400 F, 210 C). If serving later, preheat the oven 10 minutes before beating the egg whites.

Purée the raspberries in a blender. Transfer to a fine-mesh sieve placed over a small bowl. Using the back of a spoon, press through until all of the raspberry pulp is in the bowl and the sieve holds only seeds. Stir 3 tbsp. (35 g) sugar into the raspberry purée. Set aside.

Now prepare your soufflé cups. You can either melt the butter and use a pastry brush to coat the bottom and sides of the cups, or butter them as you would a cake pan. Add a small spoonful of the remaining sugar to each cup, turning the cup to coat the bottom and sides. Hold each cup upside down over the sink and give it a tap to remove any excess sugar.

Separate two eggs, placing the whites in a medium bowl and discarding the yolks (or you can also save them for another use). Separate the third egg, adding the white to the bowl and the yolk to the raspberry mixture. Stir in.

At this point you may pause the recipe if you like (but do not refrigerate the ingredients).

When the oven is good and hot, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Using a rubber spatula, transfer a heap of whites (about a quarter) to the raspberry mixture and stir in. Now transfer the lightened raspberry mixture to the whites and gently fold in using your rubber spatula. Continue to fold gently until the mixture is a uniform light pink.

Fill the soufflé cups with the mixture. Pass the edge of a metal spatula over the top of each cup to even it off. Place the cups on a cookie sheet or pie tin for easy oven removal.

Bake for 4-5 minutes, or until the soufflés have risen and the tops are starting to brown.

Serve immediately. Serves 4-6.

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